Depleted Spurs braced for tough mission in Moscow

Tottenham will be without five first-team players for tonight’s Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow but a latest scan has revealed Harry Kane could return earlier than expected.

Kane sustained an ankle ligament injury against Sunderland eight days ago and has been left out of the trip to Russia, along with Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko.

Dembele, Dier and Rose are all recovering from hamstring problems while Sissoko is being treated for concussion after taking a bang to the head against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

It means Spurs are under-strength for this crunch test in Moscow but manager Mauricio Pochettino said there was better news regarding Kane.

The striker was initially feared to be facing around eight weeks out but it is understood it could now be closer to six, raising hopes the 23-year-old could play in the north London derby against Arsenal on November 6.

“We received the information about the scan. It’s much, much better than we expected,” Pochettino said.

“We are happy, it was very positive, the scan. We’re very, very happy about this news but still we cannot give a time of how long it’ll be to recover.

“It’s hard to say one, two, three weeks, but much, much better than we expected.”

Tottenham are looking to register their first point in Group E following an opening defeat to Monaco at Wembley.

Dier and Rose are also out but Pochettino said the pair are more likely than Dembele to make Sunday’s match against Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Ben Davies is likely to stand in for Rose at left-back while Dele Alli could slot into central midfield alongside the more defensive Victor Wanyama. “Dier, Dembele and Rose are okay but we don’t want to take a risk,” Pochettino said. “Why take a risk when we played one or two days ago at Boro and we have another game tomorrow?”

This will be the first time an English club has played in Russia since violence erupted among fans of the two countries at Euro 2016. Only around 250 Spurs fans have bought tickets for the game but Spurs advised them not to show team colours or flags until inside the stadium.

CSKA manager Leonid Slutsky was Russia’s coach at Euro 2017 but he is confident there will be no repeat of the trouble that marred the early stages of that tournament.

“I believe that those English fans who come to Moscow to support their favourites will enjoy a high level of hospitality, not only at the stadium but everywhere,” Slutsky said.

CSKA are a point ahead of Tottenham in the group after they drew 2-2 in their opening game at Bayer Leverkusen.


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